After four years of development work, a new clear lacquer is set to go into series production at Mercedes-Benz at the end of 2003. What the company terms ‘ground-breaking nano-technology’ ensures that the new product is substantially more scratch-resistant than conventional paint.
The E, S, CL, SL and SLK-Class model series are the first cars in the world to be available with this new paint system – other models get the new nano-paintwork from spring 2004.
The newly developed clear lacquer, which contains microscopically small ceramic particles, hardens in the paintshop oven, forming an extensively cross-linked network. According to Mercedes-Benz, the paint is more effectively protected against scratches caused by mechanical car-washes, for example. The nano-particles provide a three-fold improvement in the scratch resistance of the paintwork and ensure visibly enhanced gloss over an extended period of time.
Following extreme tests in a laboratory car-wash, Mercedes engineers noted an around 40 % improvement in paint gloss compared to conventional clear lacquers.
Mercedes-Benz carried out extensive testing on the nano-particle clearcoat both in the laboratory and under everyday conditions. Even after several years of use, the more than 150 test cars involved in the long-term testing programme displayed significantly greater scratch resistance and enhanced paint gloss compared to vehicles with conventional paintwork. Added to which, the newly developed paint system also meets the stringent Mercedes standards in terms of the protection it offers from chemicals in the environment.
New nano-particle clearcoat will be introduced as standard for both metallic and non-metallic paint finishes.